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Bengal COVID-19 death toll reaches 2000 as 51 people succumb across state

During the last 24 hours, 2,064 people have been discharged from different hospitals in West Bengal taking the discharge rate to 70.32 per cent.

Published: 09th August 2020 01:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2020 01:51 AM   |  A+A-

A medic collects samples from a person with physical disability for COVID-19 rapid antigen testing amid the complete bi-weekly lockdown to curb COVID-19 spread in Kolkata Saturday. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

KOLKATA: The coronavirus toll in West Bengal crossed 2,000 Saturday and its caseload the 90,000 mark, according to a bulletin of the state health department.

The number of active cases in the state crossed the 25,000 mark, the bulletin said.

The toll reached 2,005 after 51 people succumbed to the disease during the day and the tally touched 92,615 after 2,949 people tested positive for the disease during the day, it said.

The number of recoveries was 65,124 people, the bulletin said.

During the last 24 hours, 2,064 people have been discharged from different hospitals in West Bengal taking the discharge rate to 70.32 per cent.

There were 20 fatalities in the city, while in neighbouring North 24 Parganas 19 people succumbed to the disease on Saturday.

There were three deaths in Howrah, two each in South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Paschim Bardhaman and one each in Dakshin Dinajpur, Darjeeling and Hooghly districts, it added.

Of the 51 who died on Saturday all but one fell victim to comorbidities where COVID-19 was incidental, the health department bulletin said.

The city accounted for 684 new infections, while another 653 was reported from North 24 Parganas, 232 from South 24 Parganas, 217 from Howrah, 185 from Hooghly, it added.

There were 141 cases reported from Purba Medinipur, 122 from Malda while 87 and 84 from Jalpaiguri and Nadia districts respectively.

The remaining 544 new cases were reported from 14 other districts of West Bengal pushing up the number of active cases to 25,486, it said.

So far a total 10,79,657 samples have been tested in the state, the bulletin added.

The state also witnessed strict enforcement of complete lockdown on Saturday with the police cracking down on violators, resorting to lathcicharge and arresting 3561 people from various parts of the state for violating the protocol.

The number of arrests in the city was about 1000, officials said.

"Across West Bengal, around 2561 people were arrested," a senior official of West Bengal police said adding the force had to weild the bation in many places to enforce the lockdown.

The complete lockdown on Saturday was part of the state government's step to implement biweekly lockdown from July 23 to August 31 to break the chain of COVID-19 infection amid admission of community transmission in some parts of the state.

All public transport, government and private offices, banks and other commercial establishments, barring those dealing with essential services, were closed as restrictions were strictly enforced, the officials said.

Flight operations at Netaji Subhas Chandra International airport were suspended following a request by the state government to the civil aviation ministry.

Long-distance trains were rescheduled, Railway official said.

Essential services like medicine shops and health establishments remained open as these were kept out of the purview of the lockdown.

Petrol pumps are also allowed to stay open.

In the city police patrolled all the major traffic intersections to keep a check on people coming out on the streets.

Special police teams were seen patrolling various parts of the city, particularly containment zones.

In several places police were seen punishing lockdown violators by making them do squats.

Barricades were put up in various parts of the state, the officials said.

In Hooghly district, police resorted to 'Gandhigiri'.

The personnel of the force were seen garlanding the violators and escorting them to their homes.

Schools, colleges and other educational institutes in the state are closed since late March when the first phase of the nationwide lockdown started.

BJP mocked the state government over the lockdown and said had it implemented it sincerely in April the situation would have been different.

"The state government is completely clueless on the lockdown," West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.

His comments drew sharp criticism from the ruling TRinamool Congress which said the biweekly lockdown is being implemented after consultation with health experts.

"Dilip Ghosh should stop talking on matters which he does not understand. The biweekly lockdown has been implemented after talking to experts," senior TMC leader and spokesperson Sougato Roy said.

A complete lockdown was earlier imposed in the state on July 23, 25 and 29 and August 5.

According to a notification issued by the state government, total lockdowns will be imposed on August 20, 21, 27, 28 and 31.



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